Safeguarding change notification

UK Athletics and England Athletics remain committed to ensuring our clubs and athletics environments are as safe and welcoming as possible.   Safe and welcoming club environments allow everyone to flourish and improve participation and enjoyment in our sport.

You will no doubt be aware of our Club Standards checklist to help our clubs understand what they should have in place and legal requirements for good governance, safeguarding and duty of care.  All clubs will be prompted to work through the checklist as point of reaffiliation.

Changes to Safeguarding Policy

UKA and the Home Country Athletics Federations have recently made some updates to the UKA and HCAF Safeguarding Regulations, UKA and HCAF Child Safeguarding Policy, UKA and HCAF Child Safeguarding Procedures and UKA and HCAF Safeguarding Process Map.

Key amendments are as follows:

  • Policy has been updated to reflect legislation changes regarding ‘positions of trust.’  Read more about those important legislation changes.
  • Following feedback, we have removed the lengthy paper form required to report a safeguarding concern and improved links to easier online reporting.
  • There is more detail about civil and criminal orders/convictions and how these are dealt with if necessary, under the regulations within the sport in a safeguarding context.
  • There are broader options available to help manage any risks whilst any person is under investigation for safeguarding concerns.
  • There are some new case outcome processes designed to speed up dealing with safeguarding investigations and decisions.

Policies and procedures

As with any policy change, it’s really important that committees and Welfare Officers are familiar with and use the most up to date policies and procedures.  Please consider including or linking to the following documents on your club’s website or please update any existing documents or links:

Changes to Club Welfare Officer requirements and training

Club Welfare Officers  play a key role in ensuring that that club members have a safe and positive experience at their club.  Welfare Officers are key to all members knowing what to do and who to speak to if they have a safeguarding or discipline or conduct concern. They are also key to managing lower-level club issues and disputes, and/or flagging concerns for early intervention to prevent escalation and behaviours which prevent enjoyment of the sport.  Welfare Officers also form part of the club committee and perform a key role in implementing good safeguarding governance locally at your club.

We have listened to feedback from clubs and now have two suitable training courses for Welfare Officers depending on whether or not you have club members aged under 18.  Please note that safeguarding requirements still apply if you have adult members or occasional under 18s who join your groups or sessions.   Whilst the number of Welfare Officers is up to you as a club to decide what you need based on your set up, we are also asking you to appoint one Lead Welfare Officer as a key contact and coordination person for welfare matters.

In line with the HCAF and UKA Club Safeguarding Code of Conduct and Club Standards, clubs should appoint at least one Lead Welfare Officer who is appropriately trained.

  • For Lead Welfare Officers in a club with any child members aged under 18, they must complete a DBS check, the UKA Safeguarding elearning module followed by the Time to Listen
  • For Lead Welfare Officers in a club with adult members aged over 18 only, they must complete a UKA DBS check, UKA Safeguarding elearning module followed by the Adult Welfare

When completing Club Standards, clubs should ensure that they update the ‘My athletics portal – club management’ with Welfare Officer details, ensuring you use the drop down to select the member’s role as ‘Lead Welfare Officer’ or ‘Welfare Officer’.  Please also ensure you keep all club roles up to date on the portal including committee roles and licensed coaches used by the club.